Wood Composite Extrusion
Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) involves mixing wood fibers with a polymer prior to extrusion. This new compound will retain some of the properties of wood while gaining the added properties from the polymer. PVC, polyethylene, and polypropylene are the most commonly used plastics in a WPC Product. To begin the wood plastic composite extrusion process, the wood is ground, screened, and dried. Once the wood is properly dried and mixed with the polymer, the extrusion process can occur. The mixture is fed into the barrel of the machine and pushed through the die. Once formed, the profile is extruded from the machine and cooled.
Wood screened between 40 to 60 mesh will have a rough texture suitable for decking. To achieve a smooth finish, wood will be screened between 80 to 100 mesh. Wood should not be screened above 120 mesh. This can cause the wood to be too fine and not mix well with the polymer. Moisture levels in the wood and the wood-plastic composite are very sensitive and should be monitored with care. Too much moisture in the wood before extrusion can cause swelling in the profile.
Wood Plastic Composite Advantages
Many applications call for the use of wood; however, pure wood can hold many negative characteristics. Due to being a natural material, weak spots and other impurities can occur within. Pure wood holds moisture, making it susceptible to rot and weathering. By utilizing a wood plastic composite, characteristics from the polymer are added to enhance the desired characteristics and remove the negative characteristics in the wood.
WPC products are consistent throughout with even density. Impurities and weak spots have been removed or strengthened by the polymer. Water absorption is also lowered meaning that rotting, weathering, and splintering or splitting is less likely to occur. Wood treatments such as painting and staining are still possible to be used on WPC products as well, making them a popular choice for many applications that would benefit from the look of wood without the pitfalls of its natural state.
Wood Plastic Composite Applications
Wood Plastic composite is a popular solution in the building and construction industry. WPC products can withstand various environments making them a great material for many construction applications. Wood-plastic composite is often used to create products like siding, railing, decking, and fencing.
Reschcor is the industry’s leading supplier for quality, custom-engineered plastic extrusion manufacturing. We pride ourselves on our ability to create a custom solution for even the most challenging of problems. We utilize the highest level of care to assure that the features of all extruded plastic profiles are accurate according to our customers’ product specifications. If you are looking to partner with a company that puts the customer first, contact Reschcor today so we can learn more about your company and understand how we can help your business succeed.